Our Montessori Butterfly Unit
We have officially entered butterfly season in our part of the world. We saw our first one last week in the backyard. Our oldest who is almost three squealed with joy and chased it all over the yard.
I’m so glad that I planned our butterfly unit for this month. Not only is it the perfect time of year to study butterflies, but our oldest has been asking when she’d see butterflies again over the past couple months so this was an easy way to follow the child.
I grabbed the Safari Toob Butterflies to play with. I had intended to make three part cards to go with them, but I never got around to it. We will add that next year! (Edit: here are the three part cards I made. Feel free to use them in your home.)
We also got the Safari Toob Life Cycle of a Butterfly. We used this and our books to explore the lifecycle of a butterfly this year. I also got her this lovely puzzle that illustrates the lifestyle of the butterfly. She found this one frustrating this year but enjoyed doing it together.
Our bird unit will overlap with this unit so I also got her the bird puzzle (also found here). I wanted to try a couple before investing in more since, up until now she has not shown much interest in puzzles.
We found this free download for butterfly and moth puzzles. She is already excited to try this out. She caught me printing it out and asked what it was.
I’m laminating, cutting out and preparing an animal puzzle extension activity. I found this beautiful watercolor download from one of my new favorite Etsy shops, Green Urban Creative.
It is a a set called the “Anatomy of the Butterfly Poster and Handwriting Kit“. It includes a detailed and simple version anatomy poster that can be used similarly to three part cards and animal puzzle extension activities. This year I printed out two of the simple anatomy posters. One will be the master copy so it is self correcting and the other will be her extension activity. I plan to build on this unit in the future and use the detailed poster then.
She’s in a wonderful place with language acquisition. Still very interested in learning the names of things so I anticipate she will learn the parts of the butterfly quickly. She is not yet reading but loves for me to read to her so my hope in providing this extension is that it will continue to draw her attention to written language.
When I plan a unit I look through our home library and select books that work for our theme to bring into rotation. We did not have any books on butterflies yet so I selected two to add to our library: “A Butterfly is Patient” by Dianna Huts Ashton & “From Caterpillar to a Butterfly” by Harper Collins
I also got her these reusable stickers and this sticker book. These are already a big hit at our house. For over a year now stickers have been a constant on our shelf rotation. I grabbed both of these from Amazon I think.
Lastly, we are planting a butterfly garden together–mostly from seed. The original plan was to bring in eggs and observe the lifecycle of either a monarch or swallowtail butterfly from egg to adult. If we did not find them in our backyard we had planned to hike and look for them. With the restrictions associated with social distancing and stay home orders in place, we will just hope to find them in our own backyard and prepare the perfect environment for them even if we cannot do this part until next spring. We are ready with our Terrarium either way!
I found a fantastic resource to learn more about planting and cultivating our own butterfly garden called Joyful Butterflies. I purchased our seeds and plants from there. I’m very pleased so far with them!
Little sister had to get in on the butterfly action. I found the idea to make this beautiful butterfly mobile on The Kavanaugh Report. It’s very simple. I choose to go with the same metal hanger that she used on her blog to hang it from and it is the perfect mobile for this. I got my free printout from this site and just printed to sheets and glued them together. Once they are dry you simply clip each butterfly on and hang out up. Very easy!
There are so many fun and beautiful Montessori materials or there for learning about butterflies. What are your favorite?